Prelude to Revolution to - The Proclamation ofsigned by King George III of England, prohibits any English settlement west of the Appalachian mountains and requires those already settled in those regions to return east in an attempt to ease tensions with Native Americans. This act increases the duties on imported sugar and other items such as textiles, coffee, wines and indigo dye.
Print This Article There can be no doubt that taxation without proper representation set the stage for the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolutionary War.
Bytaxes were intolerable in Britain and still rising. Previous advisors to the king avoided the issue of taxing the colonies because it was unpopular on both sides of the Atlantic.
But during the next four years, the British Parliament began passing laws to raise money through taxing the American colonists. These laws caused severe financial hardships in the colonies and began to engender anger toward the British government.
Four acts instituted during this period can be seen as the prelude to the inevitable revolt that would follow. The Sugar Act The Sugar Act placed a tax on molasses, sugar, and other products imported into the American colonies from places outside the British Empire.
A similar law, called the Molasses Act, had been passed inbut the people had not obeyed for two reasons: The taxes were too high. The British government did not try very hard to enforce it.
Any time a government does not enforce a law, people start ignoring it.
In this case, the colonists openly turned to smuggling—bringing in sugar and molasses secretly to avoid paying the tax. By not enforcing its laws, Britain allowed the colonists to get used to running their own affairs.
The British Parliament became determined to enforce the new sugar act of When the British suddenly stiffened enforcement of the law, the colonists resented it.
The British used naval patrols and royal inspectors to search colonial warehouses and even private residences, thus angering the colonists further. The British even offered to share the taxes with any citizen who reported friends or neighbors who were smuggling.
If the person was found guilty, the police who arrested the smuggler and the judge who found him guilty could also receive a large reward. The result of this was difficulty for someone accused of smuggling to get a fair trial. Many colonists became deeply angered by this unfair system.
The Currency Act Not long after passage of the Sugar Act, Parliament enacted another new law—a law which would plunge the colonies into financial depression.
Businesses had been expanding quickly in the colonies.
Small fortunes were already being made as the colonists begin to develop the bountiful eastern half of North America. Shipbuilding was already a big industry. Colonial shipyards were building one-third of all the merchant vessels sailing under the British flag.
To make business easier to pursue, the colonies created their own paper money. It was called colonial scrip. It was money issued by colonial governments for the benefit of the people in general. To prevent this, the British Parliament passed the Currency Act of This made colonial scrip illegal and forced the colonists to exchange it for British money, issued by the Bank of England.
To make matters worse, the British only gave the colonists one Bank of England note for every two notes of colonial scrip. The Americans had to pay twice the price for all the British products they bought.The Colonial Merchants and the American Revolution By Arthur Meier Schlesinger The Colonial Merchants and the American Revolution By Arthur Meier Schlesinger /10 - Beard Books distinctive activity was the formation of non-intercourse agreements--covered extensively in this book because of their influence on the .
By January , London merchants sent a letter to Parliament arguing that they had been “reduced to the necessity of pending ruin The American Revolution invited a reconsideration of all social inequalities. These cartoons became an important medium for voicing criticism and dissent during the American Revolution.
In this His well-known works in the field of colonial history include The Colonial Merchants and the American Revolution, () and Prelude to Independence: The Newspaper War on .
The American Revolution occurred because The colonies weren't getting the representation that they wanted in the British government and Parliament. Britain passed laws and taxes on the colonies without the consent of the colonies and without letting the colonies vote on the taxes.
A few years later, the American Antiquarian Society—the central repository for early American print since its founding in —invited Bailyn to coedit a volume of essays on print and press freedom in commemoration of the bicentennial, which was soon published with the . Parliament was stunned by the Americans' aggressive resistance, and English merchants and manufacturers, anxious to safeguard their American markets and business ties, pressed the government to repeal the measures that had so inflamed the colonists.